WORLD – GERMANY
According to Berlin police estimates, at least 10,000 people gathered today at the Brandenburg Gate for an “Uprising for peace”. The demonstration was organised by left-wing politician Sahra Wagenknecht and women’s rights activist Alice Schwarzer, who advocate a ceasefire and the start of negotiations with Russia.
A dpa reporter reported large crowds on both sides of the Brandenburg Gate. Some participants carried flags with doves of peace.
As of 2 p.m., at least 10,000 participants had been registered by the police. “It cannot be ruled out that there will be more. The number also depends on the weather,” a police spokesman said.
Several small anti-demonstrations were also observed near the Brandenburg Gate, mostly with double-digit numbers of participants.
Manifesto for peace
The march followed the publication in early February of a petition with the so-called “Manifesto for Peace”, in which its authors Wagenknecht and Schwarzer called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to “stop the escalation of arms deliveries”.
The activists’ initiative initially drew a barrage of criticism. German media called the theses in the manifesto cynical and dismissive of Ukrainians, while conservative Die Welt dubbed the document “an instruction to surrender”.
Olaf Scholz and Vice Chancellor Robert Habek have also made it clear that they do not share the beliefs outlined in the manifesto.
“One has to realise that the Russian president is currently accepting only one form of negotiation, and that is negotiation on the basis of unconditional surrender,” Scholz said.
Nevertheless, more than 640,000 people had declared their acceptance of the “Manifesto for Peace” on the internet by noon on Saturday.